Dr. William Blair, inventor, and developer of the Blair Upper Cervical Technique, left chiropractic a workable 3-d model of how the atlas vertebrae subluxates(misaligns) following trauma. Dr. Blair described this motion with the terms tracking and sliding. The anatomy of the atlas and skull joint is different form every other joint in the spine. Instead of being planar, the atlas skull joint is cup shaped. The skull rests in the atlas in a “cradle”. Because of this uniqueness, when injury occurs the motion that occurs in spinal misalignment happens in a 3-d motion.
Normal motion between the head and atlas is the nodding motion. However, when an injury occurs to the upper cervical spine, the motion is much different. If one were to view the joints of the atlas and condyles of the skull from the top down, they would notice that the long axis of each joint converges to the front. These joints also are up shaped and tilted to the horizontal plane (sloped) upwards. Because of this unique anatomy, trauma induced by whiplash, sports injuries, injuries force the atlas to move longitudinally among one of its joints while slipping off the other. To help you understand the motion of the atlas subluxation, imagine a train on its tracks. If the train tracks stay parallel the train maintains contact with the tracks and runs smoothly. However now imagine ahead of the train someone moves the tracks from parallel to converging towards each other.
The tracks approximating each other are analogous to the joints of the atlas converging towards the front. Now imagine the train arrives at those two tracks that are now no longer parallel but are now converging towards each other. If the train continues one wheel will stay on the track (called tracking) while the other would have to jump off the track. This is mechanically what happens to the atlas during injury. The structure dictates this motion because of the angles and shapes of the joints. To help you understand we have embedded a video that will help the person who has some anatomical understanding of the Atlantal-occipital anatomy understand how the atlas 3-dimensionally tracks on one joint, while it overlaps or slips off the other joint.
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is proving the atlas subluxates in a 3-d path just like Dr. Blair theorized over 50 years ago. The atlas torque twists out of alignment relative to the occipital condyle and at the same disrupts normal brain stem function.
The author of this article understands that the layperson may be completely confused by this article and video. The fledging chiropractic student, chiropractor, or any other doctor, anatomist, or health care provider will be able to see for themselves that trauma to the neck absolutely can cause the atlas vertebrae to misalign off the floor of the skull. Furthermore, it has become clinically evident in chiropractic and upper Cervical chiropractic offices around the world that introducing precise forces into the spine that free up these atlas misalignments can have profound effects on people's health.
Upper Cervical Chiropractor Near Me- Upper Cervical Spine Chiropractic
If you suspect that you suffer from upper neck misalignment it would behoove you to find an upper Cervical chiropractor near me- you. One such network of doctors is the Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Society which is a membership-based organization of over 100 specially trained Upper Cervical Chiropractors. These doctors are specially trained to help patients recover their health by making precise corrections to upper Cervical spinal subluxations (misalignments). You can easily use the internet to find an upper cervical chiropractor near you.
Upper Cervical Chiropractors Do NOT Treat Symptoms, They Correct Spinal Subluxations
Even though Upper Cervical Chiropractors do NOT TREAT SYMPTOMS OR DISEASES, the end result of correcting upper neck subluxations is a global impact on the body. Patients with occipital neuralgia, neck pain and hearing loss, lupus, fibromyalgia, trigeminal neuralgia, Meniere’s disease and other chronic health problems are known to respond positively following correction. Because diseases and syndromes are the result of the body malfunctioning, it should be no surprise that removing irritation from the brain stem by correcting upper Cervical spine misalignments helps a wide array of health problems.